It feels perhaps a little premature to be writing a reflection on the year post but I suppose why not… Now is as good a time as any.
So I graduated from university with my undergraduate degree in July 2015 and I was pretty sure I’d get a job doing what I wanted to do… But how wrong was I? Landing yourself a job in the environmental science sector when you needed to move back home to save money and all the jobs are in London provided an awful lot of competition… And a lot of rejections not even making it to the interview stage!
But then I landed myself a job working as a learning support worker in a primary school. Teaching was something I had considered but I wasn’t overly sure about it so this job provided me a good insight into teaching… And I’ve now decided against it… Not because of the school or the children, just the amount of pressure I saw the teachers under to reach targets!
I won’t lie my job was tough to begin with… It was so hard and sticking with it was difficult, but then in February it all changed and the little boy I’d been working with since September just changed and it was the most brilliant thing to see. I then absolutely loved working there until the end of the school year in July. I tell you what, I’m so glad I’ve stayed in touch with the family whose child I was working with because he is amazing and it is so so special to watch him growing up and doing brilliantly in the world!
I also made so many new friends last year, a couple of whom I still talk to regularly and I miss them dearly and make every attempt I can to see them when I’m back home!
In December 2015 I decided I wanted to go back to university to undertake a masters degree. Now earning money I could save up £500 a month and by July I was on £5500, the amount I needed for my tuition fees this year. The introduction of the postgraduate loan from student finance also allowed me to come back to university, with my loan paying for my accommodation… not forgetting the money my parents are paying me to “live on” every month. I won’t lie… I do miss everyone and the job I did last year but sometimes you have to move out of your comfort zone!
Another incredible achievement I made this year was taking part/organising and running the St Andrew’s Big Bake where I (with a team of young people) baked solidly for 21h before then selling all the cakes. It was great fun, but tiring and by the end of it I’d been awake 28h and it was challenging too! Please take a look at the blog post on it if you want to know more 🙂 But during that I managed to help raise over £1000 for tearfund.
In March I went out to Norway to visit my friend who lives there. I met Victoria while at Newcastle where we were both studying the same degree. I love her to bits and was so happy that I could go out to visit! OK it was cold and wet a lot of the time but I had great fun and it was so lovely to see her… and to visit a new country!
I visited the Harry Potter studio tour again which was great fun! I love it there!
This year I also passed my grade 8 flute with merit. I was annoyed at myself when I only got to grade 7 before heading off to university in 2012 but I decided to text my old flute teacher to see if she still taught and if she could take me on. I was so glad she did and after a year of practicing as much as I could (believe me, there is more motivation to practice when you’re paying for it all yourself! XD) I passed my grade 8 with merit.
At the end of August I had an amazing opportunity where I headed up to Scotland for 2 weeks to work with the Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit, where I spent time learning how to record dolphin/whale sightings and learning how to rescue stranded marine mammals. It was all great fun and an incredible experience. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment a minkie whale surfaced about 1m from the boat!
I also had a lovely little holiday to Jersey with my mum for a couple of days to watch the airshow and just to visit Jersey as I hadn’t been there since I was about 4 years old so I don’t remember any of it! Plus I decided to get out my snorkelling gear and have a go at snorkelling to see if I could find anything!
At the end of September I moved out of my comfort zone again and moved back to University… Well this time I moved to Swansea (rather than back to Newcastle), so not only was it was new place for me, it was also a bit overwhelming getting back in to work and fending for myself again! But still I’ve made it so far and have only 2 weeks left of term until I go home for Christmas! But before then I have to write a 6,000 word literature review! :O
That’s all for day 5 – it was a bit of a longer one today but hopefully I’ll see you again tomorrow! 🙂